Heart and Music

In a recent report from Tes, schools stated that, if they were to cut subjects entirely from their curriculum, music would be the most likely to be the first to go; closely followed by a couple of languages and drama.

Southbank Centre, London

I've written previously about how important the UK's soft power is around the globe; and with this latest revelation, it is increasingly likely that this cultural capital will be reduced in the future.

The arts are always seen as 'soft' subjects; the connotation here that softness equates to ease; but speak with any artist from any discipline and they will quickly disabuse you of the notion that a career in the arts is simple. It is one of the most difficult, demanding, and occasionally demeaning career routes that one can engage with, and those who are involved with arts and culture learn to grow a thick skin and resilient mindset - two qualities which are considered attributes in any other industry.

So why are the cultural subjects afforded less attention and value than the STEM subjects, when our arts and creative industries contribute so much to the economy, both in monetary terms and in ways which are much less quantifiable? I don't have the answer to a very pressing question.

Image Source: facebook.com

And what about the other subjects in the firing line? It's a sad indictment of society today that French and German are also being considered for the chop; possibly a reflection of the disdain with which our mainstream media outlets seem to hold Europe in these days. I love languages, and although I have great difficulty learning them (I don't have that kind of brain), learning the way other cultures think, the importance they place on some words or phrases, can teach a lot about the ways in which we all respond to one another.

The arts and languages; two of the subjects that bring us together, that help us communicate across all sorts of borders and barriers, are the first subjects that teachers would not offer to our children. At risk of sounding alarmist, I think that this sets a dangerous precedent for the future as we begin to indoctrinate isolationism.

If the creatives of tomorrow aren't being exposed to opportunities today, then the future looks incredibly beige. 


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